Penelope Cruz says she values this health truth more than any other

Forty-year-old Penelope Cruz doesn’t look a day older than 30, but the actress says there is one simple reason why she’s remained so youthful, and…

Penelope Cruz thinks health is much more important than how aging affects the body visually. (Shutterstock)

Forty-year-old Penelope Cruz doesn’t look a day older than 30, but the actress says there is one simple reason why she’s remained so youthful, and it has nothing to do with expensive body creams or high-profile spa treatments.

According to Cruz, the one health truism that has held back the ravages of the aging process is that it’s not what you do to the outside of your body that matters, it’s how you take care of the inside. And for Cruz, that means focusing on eating healthy and exercising rather than focusing on the appearance of age-related wrinkles.

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“I try to take care of my health more. I’ve always been very aware that aging isn’t just about the way you look, rather it’s about what’s happening inside,” she told British magazine InStyle. “That’s what I value the most, as I think good health and not having to worry about an illness is the biggest treasure we have. So I try to eat well, I don’t smoke and I almost never drink. But one beer once in a while is still good for you!”

Cruz has never been a stickler when it comes to spending time at the gym, and she recently took a number of months off from strenuous workouts after the birth of her daughter, Luna. It was only when Penelope felt her body was fully recovered from pregnancy that she started working out again–minus any running.

Penelope Cruz talks about aging

Penelope Cruz exercises to keep her body healthy. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

“I don’t like running; I don’t have the patience to run in circles. I used to dance for 17 years, which is probably why I don’t like to run,” she said. “Dancing incorporates cardio, like running, but it’s never boring because you have music and choreography and a story that you’re dancing to. I don’t do ballet now, though. I like yoga because it’s a multitasking sport – it’s physical and you’re practicing meditation at the same time.”

Cruz exercises to keep her body healthy rather than thin, and she is well-known for her outspokenness regarding the misconception that skinny is a necessity for being pretty.

“I would close down all those teenage magazines that encourage young girls to diet. Who says that to be pretty you have to be thin?” she remarked in a 2010 interview with You magazine. “Some people look better thin and some don’t. There is almost a standard being created where only thin is acceptable. The influence of those magazines on girls as young as 13 is horrific.”

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At that time Cruz also commented on her view towards healthy aging, indicating she would live her live never lying about her age.

“If I look around at the actresses I admire, they are all women who have not fought growing older, but embraced it — women like Sophia Loren or Audrey Hepburn … It’s a good thing to be old, because that means you haven’t died yet right?” she said. “And when I do get older, I want to have the grace to be proud of it, not to lie about it or try to fight it.The people who love me, love me for who I am. They love me for a mixture of things that makes anyone love another person, and those things will still be there when I am 40, 60 or 80.”